Here are some hints and tips to the best preparation for each climate:
If you are determined not to be a fair-weather cyclist, then you are sure to encounter a spot of rain on your travels. Whether this is a summer shower or a torrential downpour, you need to be kitted out correctly in terms of your clothing and your bicycle.
The wetter you get, the colder you get, so you need to invest in warm clothing to keep you cosy at the core. A waterproof vest or jacket is ideal, aim to find one with a skirt at the back and a decent hood for maximum protection.
Wool socks and neoprene booties will be your foot’s best friend to seal out rain and spray. Be kind to your hands with full-fingered water and wind-resistant gloves and make sure your clothing is breathable as you will still sweat even in the coldest conditions.
Sunglasses are a no-no in the rain as they cut out too much light and when coupled with the rain hitting your face, it can lead to you missing obstacles due to lack of vision.
If you are cycling in hotter weather – that is warmer than you are used to – then you need to up your sun protection and hydration. It is wise to over-estimate your water usage rather than under-estimating it, with a recommended 800ml of water being consumed every hour and a quarter, at least.
When cycling fast, you can misread how hot it actually is, creating your own breeze as you whizz by. This can lead to you putting less sun tan lotion on, which causes unnecessary burning. So, wear a high factor!
Dust is the biggest enemy to your bike in warmer climates, causing chains to seize up and stopping your cycling fun. A handy tip is to use ‘dry’ lube such as Muc-Off dry lube to repel the dust.
When braving the snow, the more tread on your tyres the better. You will also get more grip if you let a little of the air out of your tyres, so don’t be afraid to give this a try.
Though snow can be very beautiful and scenic, it is not a great weather condition for your clothing. Be sure to wear older clothing that you don’t mind getting black slush all over.
Wearing a base layer will keep you warm in a frostier climate, providing an under layer that will retain your core heat as well as offering a breathable option when sweating. ActivInstinct have a good selection of base layers to keep you dry, cool and comfortable, as even in very cold temperatures, you will still perspire.
Be sure to also keep your head, hands and knees warm, so you stay comfortable and alert as you steadily make your way through the snow.
When braking, use the rear brake to test how slippery the road is, and use the front brake only in a straight line to avoid knocking you off balance.